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McCollum Statement on Appropriations Committee Passing FY 2020 Commerce-Science-Justice Funding Bill

May 22, 2019
Press Release

Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.) today joined House Appropriations Democrats in voting to approve the FY 2020 Commerce-Science-Justice funding bill. The bill provides a critical funding increase for the Census Bureau to conduct the 2020 Decennial Census, and additionally provides strong funding increases to help research and prepare for climate change, promote civil rights, create jobs, reduce gun violence, and more.

In total, the legislation invests $73.895 billion to keep communities safe and prevent gun violence, promote civil rights, tackle the opioid epidemic, and advance important priorities impacting our economy, the environment, and the scientific community.

The bill includes provisions important to Minnesotans and the American people:

  • Climate change: The bill contains $5.48 billion for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), addressing priorities such as climate research, improvements in weather forecasting, the reduction of harmful algal blooms, and fisheries management. It also funds the National Science Foundation (NSF) at $8.64 billion -- $561.14 million more than last year -- to support the academic community and the next generation of scientists, mathematicians, and engineers.
  • Census: The bill provides $8.45 billion for the Census Bureau, including a strong increase to enable the Bureau to conduct a thorough and accurate 2020 Decennial Census that counts all persons, as required by the Constitution.
  • Gun violence: The bill increases funding for the ATF by $122 million. The bill also fully funds the FBI’s background check system and provides funding to help prevent school violence.   
  • Civil rights: The bill increases funding for DOJ’s Civil Rights Division. It provides an increase of $135 million for the Legal Services Corporation to help increase the availability of legal assistance in underserved communities. It provides $75 million to implement the First Step Act, helping nonviolent offenders reenter society.
  • Indian Country: The bill sets aside 7 percent of funding within Office of Justice Programs to ensure that tribal nations receive resources to establish tribal courts, ensure legal assistance, and provide substance abuse prevention programs. The bill also maintains a 5 percent allocation for tribal governments from the Crime Victims Fund.
  • Opioid crisis: The bill provides $501 million for grant programs to help stem opioid abuse, including for drug courts, treatment, prescription drug monitoring, overdose-reversal drugs, and at-risk youth programs.

“The FY 2020 Commerce-Science-Justice funding bill will help build a stronger, safer, and more just future by investing in protecting and expanding civil rights for all,” Rep. McCollum said. “Robust funding for scientific research to combat climate change is critical for our future, as are investments in gun violence prevention and ensuring everyone is counted in the 2020 census. I’m also pleased that this bill contains funding for Indian Country justice programs, helping us continue to meet the federal government’s trust and treaty obligations to our Native American brothers and sisters.”

A summary of the Commerce-Justice-Science bill is here. The text of the bill is here. The bill report is here.

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